24 Seconds presented by Ibotta: David Jovanovic
Pelicans longtime equipment manager on seven-game trip, uniforms
Since serving as equipment manager for the original Charlotte Hornets expansion team in 1988-89, David Jovanovic has experienced virtually everything in professional basketball, but the Pelicans’ upcoming road trip is unprecedented even for him. New Orleans will make stops in Dallas, Los Angeles (for two games), Sacramento, Utah (for two games) and Minnesota over a two-week period, essentially playing one-fifth of its entire 2020-21 road schedule during the excursion.
Jovanovic – better known to Pelicans players, and pretty much everyone else for that matter, by his nickname of “Big Shot” – discussed the uniqueness of the seven-game journey, as well as what goes into the decision-making behind what New Orleans wears on game nights in our weekly “24 Seconds” feature:
Pelicans.com: Is this the longest road trip you’ve ever been part of in your 33 years in the NBA?
Jovanovic: I think I’ve been on a longer trip in terms of days, but I believe seven games is the most amount of games. It is crazy to think we’re going to play seven games, every other day for two weeks. That is a little unusual.
Pelicans.com: What’s the biggest challenge for an NBA equipment manager to have a 14-day trip in the middle of the season?
Jovanovic: Getting everything set up and getting (all team gear) cleaned by the home teams. Also arranging our practice schedule on the days we’re not playing. Plus the sheer amount of personal luggage we have to bring on the trip. That can be pretty mind-boggling.
Pelicans.com: As the person who handles the uniforms most, we wanted to ask you a few specific things about them. In the recent past, the Pelicans have had kind of a “format” for when they sported each uniform (for example, red on Wednesdays, blue on Fridays). Is there something like that in place this season, so that fans will know when each uniform will be worn?
Jovanovic: Basically the team is wearing the City edition uniforms on Fridays and Sundays. On Wednesdays we’re wearing navy blue; on Mondays we are wearing white. On all of the other days, we are wearing red. There are exceptions to this; for example we wore City Edition on Christmas – which was a Friday – but then wore blue for the home opener (two days later) on Sunday because it was our very next game.
Pelicans.com: How are the uniform selections determined for each game across the NBA?
Jovanovic: We pick what we wear for home games. For road games, the home team picks and then we take what corresponds (color-wise). The league has a system for what (color combinations of the two teams) works and what doesn’t. For instance, if an opponent wears black at home, we can’t wear our navy blue uniforms because those two colors are too similar. It has to work for TV. (Hypothetically) we could wear red almost every game, except for when we’re playing Atlanta or Chicago, for example, if they’re wearing their red uniform.
Pelicans.com: From what you’ve seen, what’s been the reaction so far to the Pelicans’ City edition uniforms, which are styled after the flag of the city of New Orleans?
Jovanovic: It’s been very positive so far. I just want to win games in them. [laughs] That’s the most important thing. People tend to like the uniforms that you win in. But it’s definitely an interesting look. It’s very simple and clean. I like the fact that it mirrors the city flag.